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J.E. Motes, B. Bostian and N. Maness

The objective of this study was to evaluate the possible causes for greater pungency in pepper (Capsicum annuum) pods of two chile selections when produced at eastern and western Oklahoma locations. Pungency tests over several years have demonstrated that peppers grown in western Oklahoma consistently produce pods with ≈25% greater pungency than peppers grown in eastern Oklahoma. Data from Oklahoma Mesonet stations located near each production location indicated the western Oklahoma location had higher temperatures and wind speed but lower relative humidity than the eastern Oklahoma location during pod development. Mature dry pods were dissected into cap and stem, seeds, and pod wall. Comparisons of pod component differences between the locations showed pods were similar in dry weight; however, western Oklahoma produced more cap and stem in both selections, and in one selection produced more pod wall but less seed. Pungency was 24% and 28% greater in the two selections when grown in western Oklahoma. More pod wall and less seed could account for some of the pungency increase in only one of the selections. The more stressful production environment in western Oklahoma appears to be the major factor in pungency differences between the locations.

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James E. Motes and Raymond J. Schatzer

Fresh market tomato cultivar and cultural trials are conducted yearly at the Oklahoma Vegetable Research Station near Tulsa. From 14 to 18 cultivars have been evaluated each season since 1985 comparing the Florida stake-and-weave and the wire mesh cage cultural systems. Results from 7 years of trials indicate caging produced 32% greater marketable yield than the stake-and-weave system. Percentage early yield was reduced with the cage system. Percentage of cull fruit was greater with the stake-and-weave system due to a higher incidence of fruit cracking. Average fruit size was not affected by cultural system. Cost of production analysis showed a lower cost of production with the cage system. The cage system is more capital intensive and the stake-and-weave system is more labor intensive. Undesirable factors in the use of cages are greater difficulty in picking the early fruit clusters, logistics in off-season storage of cages and the larger capital investment required for the cage system.

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J.E. Motes, M.D. McCullough and B.A. Kahn

A problem associated with machine harvesting of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) with a stripper-type harvesting mechanism is plant uprooting. Four soil bedding treatments were compared for effects on uprooting force of Chile and paprika direct field seeded at Bixby, Okla. in 1992 and 1993. Bedding treatments were: 1) no-bed; 2) no-bed with 5 cm of soil hilled to the bases of plants; 3) bedded preplant but bed not maintained throughout the growing season; and 4) bedded preplant and bed maintained throughout the growing season. At harvest plants were cut off 10 cm above the soil surface and uprooting force determined using a wire cable puller, spring scale, and a lever based on a fulcrum. Chile uprooting force was significantly influenced by bedding treatments only in 1993. Paprika uprooting force was influenced in both years. In three of the four studies, bedding treatments 2 and 4 produced plants more strongly anchored than treatments 1 and 3.

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T.E. Morelock, J.A. Kirkpatrick, D.R. Motes, J.C. Correll and F.J. Daniello

The current national trends in nutrition have resulted in a very high interest in the benefits of proper diet. It is very apparent that adding foods high in antioxidants to the human diet can have drastic affects on human health by reducing the risk of cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, as well as age-related degenerative diseases. It is well-known and well-documented that spinach is one of the very best vegetables in antioxidant potential. It is high in beta-carotene (provitamin A) and is also very high in lutein (a carotenoid that is a strong antioxidant but with no vitamin A activity). Lutein has also been documented to have the potential to significantly reduce macular degeneration in humans when added to the diet on a regular basis. With these health benefits in mind the Univ. of Arkansas is releasing the spinach breeding line that has been tested as 88-310. It is a slow-growing semi-savoy that exhibits excellent color and has a moderate level of white rust resistance. It has excellent plant type, producing a very attractive compact rosette plant that is very desirable for root cut whole plants or for various types of clipped spinach. It is best-suited to both fall and overwinter production in Arkansas and for winter production in the Texas wintergarden. Seed for tests can be obtained by contacting T.E. Morelock, Dept. of Horticulture, Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701.

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P. Perkins-Veazie, J.K. Collins, T.G. McCollum and J. Motes

Four asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) cultivars, UC 157, Syn 4-56, Mary Washington, and Viking KB3, were stored at 2C, and their quality was evaluated during 3 weeks of storage, There were no cultivar differences in respiration, weight gain, or soluble solids concentration initially or after storage. After 3 weeks of storage, the cultivars UC and S4 were more vividly green and less seedy than MW or VK, but UC exhibited slight to moderate chilling injury. Spears of S4 and VK had better overall appearance than MW or UC.

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N.E. Maness, J.E. Motes, B. Bostian and R.J. Schatzer

Sage is a perennial, semi-evergreen herb and is a multiharvest crop. In a 4-year field study in Bixby, Okla., three N rates, including 60, 120, and 180 kg/h, and four fall harvest dates, including 40 and 20 days before the average first freeze date in Bixby, the average freeze date, and 20 days past the average freeze date were evaluated on sage (Salvia officinalis) production. The fall harvest dates were ≈20 Sept., 10 Oct., 1 Nov., or 20 Nov. each year. Plots were established with transplants in Spring 1990. On all plots, growing-season harvests were executed once in spring and once in summer, followed by the final harvest in the fall annually (1991 to 1994). Results indicated N effects on yield and the N × final fall harvest date interaction were not significant for any of the years. Yields were significantly reduced in the 40 and 20 days prefreeze date harvest treatment plots in 1992, 1993, and 1994 by a hard freeze of –7C on 2 Nov. 1991 with no prior killing frost. Plant stand loss was 61% and 8% in the 40 and 20 days prefreeze harvested plots, respectively. Injury, but not plant loss, in the 20 days prefreeze harvested plots contributed to the yield reduction. Yields in the two later final harvest treatment plots were not affected.

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Teddy E. Morelock, J. C. Correll, Frank J. Dainello and D. R. Motes

Spinach, Spinacia oleracea, is a highly nutritious vegetable that is increasing in popularity more rapidly than any other salad crop. In the eastern United States spinach production is severely impacted by white rust, Albugo occidentalis. For many years, the University of Arkansas has bred spinach to cope with this endemic problem. While fungicides can provide a degree of control, the combination of genetic resistance and fungicides is the most effective method to insure production stability. `Evergreen' and F415 are the latest developments of this breeding program. `Evergreen', widely tested as Ark 88-212, is a slow growing, dark green, semi-savoy spinach that exhibits a good level of white rust resistance. It is not long-standing and should not be used for spring production in Arkansas and Oklahoma. It has been widely tested in Arkansas and Texas. F415, widely tested as Ark 91-415, is an upright, dark green, flat leaf spinach that has a good level of white rust resistance. It is is well suited to the Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas production area and, because of its better color and more upright growth habit, it should replace Ark F380.

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M. D. McCullough, J. E. Motes, B. A. Kahn and N. E. Maness

One of the problems associated with machine harvesting of spice peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) is plant lodging. Factorial combinations of four bedding treatments and two N rates were compared for effects on lodging and fruit yield of Chile at Fort Cobb and Bixby, Okla.. and of paprika at Bixby, Okla. Bedding treatments were: 1) no-bed; 2) no-bed with 5 cm of soil hilled to the bases of plants; 3) bedded preplant but bed not maintained throughout the growing season; and 4) bedded preplant and bed maintained throughout the growing season. All plots received preplant N at a low rate (45 kg ha-1). Half the plots also received a topdressing of 45 kg ha“ of N at early fruit set. No significant differences were found among the different bedding treatments for lodging. Bedding treatments one and three led to higher Chile yields at Bixby than treatments two and four. Bedding treatments one and two led to higher paprika yields than treatments three and four. Chiles showed an increase in plant height and width with the higher N rate at both locations. The higher N rate also increased plant dry matter and fruit yield in all three studies. Paprika uprooting force was greater in treatments two and four compared to treatments one and three.

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T.E. Morelock, J.L. Bowers, D.R. Davis and D.R. Motes

Southernpeas are an important crop to Arkansas processors, market gardeners and home gardeners. While the bulk of the acreage produced in the state is pinkeye purple hull types, there is a demand for other horticultural types. At present some processors consider `White Acre' to be the standard of cream pea quality, but under Arkansas conditions, `White Acre' produces excessive vine growth, is very late to mature and is susceptible to bacterial blight. For these reasons, the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station announces the release of `Early Acre'. `Early Acre' has been widely tested under the designation Arkansas 84-154 and produces a very compact bush plant that has seed similar in size and shape to `White Acre', but matures 8-10 days earlier under Arkansas conditions. Although the plant type is well suited to narrow row spacing, `Early Acre' has produced yields similar to `White Acre' when both are planted at conventional row spacings. Samples have been canned by the Dept. of Food Science at the University of Arkansas and the samples have been rated equal to `White Acre' in processed quality. “Early Acre' has exhibited high levels of resistance to bacterial blight in replicated yield trials under field epidemics in both Arkansas and Texas.

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C.A. Mullins, C. R. Mote, R. A. Straw, D.L. Coffey, G. M. Lessman, J. G. Graveel and V. D. Adams

Tomatoes and sweet corn grew and produced equally well under no-tillage and conventional tillage methods in 1989. Simulated rainfall was applied through an overhead irrigation system four times during the growing period with 2.8 cm of water applied during each event. Total solids in collected runoff water were higher with conventional tillage than with no-tillage. Residue levels of atrazine, metolachlor, mancozeb, esfenvalerate, metribuzin, and metalaxyl and concentrations of N, P, and K in runoff water were determined and varied with runoff event, pesticide, nutrient, crop, and tillage method.